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Working with lasers


Lasers can be found in various types of equipment, from solid-state laser systems to CD-ROM drives. All our laser equipment falls into two categories: uncontrolled (not requiring specific control measures) and controlled (requiring specific control measures). You will need to follow our guidelines and procedures when using these lasers in order to keep yourself and those around you safe.

Key things you need to know about working with lasers:

  • Uncontrolled laser equipment includes: Class 1, Class 1M, Class 2, Class 2M or Class 3R lasers. These are considered safe provided that they are used in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Controlled laser equipment includes Class 3B and Class 4 lasers. These are subject to stringent safety controls (see below).
  • If you are planning on working with controlled laser equipment, you are encouraged to use engineering controls (such as enclosures) to render the equipment to Class 1.
  • It is not prmitted to bring controlled laser equipment into the University without prior written permission of a local Laser Safety Officer or the Radiation Protection Service.
  • Find useful University Laser documents here.

Contact the Radiation Protection Service if you need more guidance or advice.